Facebook shuts down personal assistant M, says it "learned a lot"

Facebook shuts down personal assistant M, says it

It will be interesting to see where Facebook plans to apply what it has learned from its assistant M at the time when companies like Google, Amazon and Apple are increasingly pooling in more resources on artificial intelligence and machine learning and have already made a mark in the industry.

Facebook had described "M" as a "beta" and suggested the human-powered assistant would be available for more users.

M will continue to function until January 19, so you have until then to say your goodbyes.

A spokesperson declined to explain specifically why M was being killed off, how many human handlers it had, and how much money was blown on research and development for the project.

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When Facebook launched its M project back in 2015, they made sure that people knew the text-based virtual assistant was just in beta. Now they have chose to take the "useful insights" that they learned from the two and a half years of its existence and use this to improve and power the other AI projects of the company.

According to a Verge report, employees who were working on M will be accommodated in other departments at the company. The assistant provides "suggestions" inside Messenger conversations that can prompt you to perform actions without leaving your chat. Facebook cancelled its original plans to roll the service out broadly to all users. Facebook told The Verge it is "very pleased" with the performance of M suggestions. Starting on January 20, all users will only have access to M suggestions, which can now be used for making plans, sending stickers through the Messenger app, and receiving suggestions for payments.

This was long before the virtual assistant became such a huge deal and Facebook operated the system differently. A hint of it was given by those working on Facebook M previous year in a report by The Technology Review. Announced in October 2015, Facebook M was limited to around 2000 users in California in the form of a chatbot in Facebook Messenger. Share your views with us in the comments section below.